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Susan Ochshorn
Susan Ochshorn is the founder of ECE PolicyWorks, a consulting firm specializing in early care and education policy research, program development, and project management. She is an experienced catalyst for change, working with nonprofits, coalitions, and professional organizations to advance a progressive agenda for young children and families. A former journalist and prolific author, she blogs at ECE Policy Matters, and is the author of Squandering America's Future: Why ECE Policy Matters for Equality, Our Economy, and Our Children (July, 2015)

Entries by Susan Ochshorn

Poisoning America's Children

(0) Comments | Posted June 11, 2016 | 1:12 PM

This spring, communities across the nation have been celebrating Safe Kids Day. As the season began, a tweet arrived. "Every minute of every day, there's a call to poison control because a kid gets into medicine," it said. "Learn more."

I was overwhelmed. I had just...

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A Memo to Susan Desmond-Hellmann, CEO of the Gates Foundation

(2) Comments | Posted May 27, 2016 | 10:58 AM

I just finished reading your letter, What if? Thank you for the update on your work. The introductory paragraph is stirring:

What if infectious diseases could no longer wreak havoc on poor communities? What if women and girls everywhere were empowered to transform their lives?...

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New York's Real Wealth Producers Hungry for Paid Family Leave

(0) Comments | Posted March 27, 2015 | 1:42 PM

What a winter of discontent for New York's parents. Strep, sub-zero temps, tantrums. Then Andrew Cuomo declared there was "little" appetite for paid family leave. The governor may be a glutton for women's equality. Still, there's only so much equalizing one can do. He had just unveiled a...

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Racing to the Top & Leaving Behind the Love of Learning

(9) Comments | Posted December 10, 2013 | 10:11 AM

As December loomed, Arne Duncan's Race to the Top hit a snag. At a meeting of school superintendents, he took "white suburban moms" to task for rebelling against the Common Core academic standards, guidelines for math and language arts instruction. "All of a sudden, their child isn't as...

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Go West, Bill de Blasio: Land of Inequality-Busting

(0) Comments | Posted December 4, 2013 | 10:42 AM

Just weeks after his landslide victory, Bill de Blasio presided over a children's summit in New York City. "Economic destiny is determined by education," he said. "That is true for us as a city, for us as a nation." So did the incoming mayor of the country's largest school district...

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Political Correctness, or Equality, for Heather and Her Two Mommies?

(2) Comments | Posted March 29, 2013 | 5:02 PM

As the Supreme Court wrapped up its nail-biting deliberations on marriage equality, where were the children? With Justice Kennedy, it turned out. Although he remains conflicted, he went straight to the heart of the matter: "There are some 40,000 children in California," he said, who "live with same-sex parents, and...

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Preschool: A Nonpartisan No-brainer

(1) Comments | Posted February 22, 2013 | 4:34 PM

On Feb. 12, in his State of the Union address, President Obama declared his intention "to make high-quality preschool available to every child in America." The impact was immediate and explosive. "Universal preschool" has not fallen from the lips of any U.S. president in the past...

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Early Education For All: Are We In or Are We Out?

(1) Comments | Posted January 22, 2013 | 4:24 PM

Preschool is back in the news in New York. Just recently, on the recommendation of his Education Reform Commission, Andrew Cuomo placed squarely on his agenda increased access to high-quality full-day pre-kindergarten for students in highest needs school districts. A win, if bittersweet, for...

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What's Poverty Got to Do With Education?

(15) Comments | Posted December 6, 2012 | 11:43 AM

I recently time-traveled with Peter Edelman, who resigned from the Clinton Administration in protest against the 1996 legislation that ended "welfare as we know it." Citing all the social justice luminaries of the past century -- including his wife, the Children's Defense Fund founder and CEO -- he brought his...

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Charter Preschool: Coming Our Way

(2) Comments | Posted October 9, 2012 | 12:30 PM

Two weeks ago, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott announced that Educare would be coming to Brooklyn next fall. A birth-to-five program that serves at-risk kids, it's become the darling of politicos from Obama on down, not to mention billionaire philanthropist...

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Education Is the Economy, Stupid

(1) Comments | Posted September 11, 2012 | 11:55 AM

Education's been missing in action in this frenzied political season. In a scan of the words most frequently mentioned at the Republican convention, "work" (247)," business" (237) and "jobs" (220) topped the list. At the Democrats' convocation, education came in at 124, topping "war"...

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Sexual Politics and Family Values: Let's Get It Right

(3) Comments | Posted March 14, 2012 | 6:38 PM

President Obama's commencement address at Barnard College this May is the latest salvo in the offensive against the Republicans in their "war on women." The alumnae of my alma mater are in a tizzy, as is Columbia, jealous of the women's college across the street for scoring this...

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Teacher War Rages in NYC: Take an Olive Branch From Early Ed

(5) Comments | Posted February 29, 2012 | 4:19 PM

Last week, as New York City's teachers were wrapping up their mid-winter recess, the NYC Department of Education set off a bomb. Lifting an embargo on the publication of Teacher Data Reports, which rate teachers on the basis of their students' test scores, the DOE left a significant slice of...

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Preschool Teacher Sells Chili to Make Ends Meet: Where Are Our Values?

(6) Comments | Posted February 6, 2012 | 11:37 AM

On the eve of the Florida primary, as Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney battled it out, the New York Times offered up "Years of Despair Add to Uncertainty in Florida Race." Among the afflicted, leading the pack, was a preschool teacher. With her home in foreclosure,...

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Ed Reform Cuomo-Style: Where's the Foundation?

(7) Comments | Posted January 6, 2012 | 9:53 AM

"Jobs, jobs, jobs" is the Governor's mantra, the take-away from his State of the State. And who can blame him? New York, like the rest of the nation, is hurting, and pain relief is a must -- especially for a state CEO with presidential aspirations. Road work, casinos,...

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Fishing Naked in Finland: What've PISA Scores Got to Do With It?

(23) Comments | Posted November 30, 2011 | 4:53 PM

Finland is the mecca of education reformers across the globe. Just before we all gorged on our turkeys and stuffing, Michael Mulgrew, head of the United Federation of Teachers, turned down an invitation for a free, but politically imprudent, pilgrimage from Manhattan Media CEO and mayoral hopeful...

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Baby Steps For Early Learning

(0) Comments | Posted November 9, 2011 | 10:43 AM

It's been a stellar couple of weeks for the U.S. Department of Education. And how often do we get to use that adjective for an agency ever under the gun?

On October 19, the DOE welcomed applications from 35 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico...

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Early Learning on the Brain: Policymakers, Take Note

(2) Comments | Posted October 11, 2011 | 2:43 PM

The day after NBC's Education Nation summit, former NYC school chancellor Harold Levy weighed in on our national conversation about education, on display, for millions, at the broadcaster's annual extravaganza. "Irrelevant and quaint," he declared, lambasting a panel of ten of the nation's governors...

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Rocking Cradle to Career With Paid Family Leave

(5) Comments | Posted September 27, 2011 | 4:14 PM

Over the weekend, at the wedding of a mutual friend, I reconnected with a Berkeley-based nurse practitioner, whose line of work is obstetrics and gynecology. After the usual pleasantries, we got down to the business of early care and education. She, channeling all the conflicts, ambivalence, and frustrations of young...

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Charter Ed for the Early Childhood Workforce: A Recipe for Disaster

(5) Comments | Posted September 15, 2011 | 5:23 PM

Last month, amid a flurry of natural disasters, the Brookings Institution and Rockefeller Foundation dumped a dangerous proposal on the overworked, underpaid, unrespected early childhood workforce. In "Beyond Bachelor's: The Case for Charter Colleges of Early Childhood Education," Sara Mead and Kevin Carey bring the K-12 charter school...

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